Council Leaders' Key Action for Innovation: Discussion Starter

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This presentation reports the results of research with leading local politicians in English local councils (local governments) on how they can best encourage innovation to flourish. It can be used to start a discussion with leading local politicians on what more they can do to achieve more innovations in their organisation.

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Council Leaders' Key Action for Innovation: Discussion Starter

  1. 1. Leading Councillors’ Key Actions for Innovation: Research Findings Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  2. 2. Defining innovation in local government Innovations are changes to services, products, organisational arrangements or democratic approaches that are both: ›  New to the council ›  Deliver additional value for resident, service users &/or local businesses The innovation continuum goes from small scale improvements to radical disruptive, game changing, breakthrough changes ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  3. 3. Research objectives Aims ›  Identify what leading councillors might do to achieve more successful innovations in their councils ›  Disseminate and promote this learning to local councils ›  Further the research evidence on leadership actions that help to achieve innovation in public services ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  4. 4. Research conducted Previous research with City University London: ›  Interviews and discussions with leading chief executives ›  Development & testing of Local Council’s Innovation Framework ›  Focus groups with frontline employees 2013 research with Local Government Association: ›  Discussions with the Improvement & Innovation Board and at elected members’ masterclass on innovation ›  Individual interviews with leading councillors ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  5. 5. Lead for Innovation Ensure Priority Innovations Are Delivered   Council Leaders’ Key Actions for Innovation identified Create the Climate for Innovation    Agree Clear Long-Term Ambitions for Innovation ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  6. 6. Research Findings ›  The leading councillors interviewed were taking many of the actions that encourage innovation ›  But councils could achieve more successful innovations, if more leading councillors adopted a comprehensive, strategic approach to innovation ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  7. 7. Actions to improve innovation: critical gaps in many councils ›  Agreeing the priority areas for future innovations ›  Devoting sufficient time and resources to developing the priority innovations ›  Genuinely involving frontline employees, and local residents, in developing the priority innovations ›  Closely tracking progress on developing the priority innovations ›  Persisting intelligently, despite many barriers, until the priority innovations are achieved ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  8. 8. More details about council leaders’ actions to encourage innovation ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 With quotes from the leading councillors interviewed
  9. 9. Create the Climate for Innovation •  Encourage creativity •  Invite external challenges •  Proactively look for fresh ideas, internally & externally •  Take vital, calculated risks •  Experiment, fail quickly & learn from failures •  Celebrate achievements ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  10. 10. Creating the climate for innovation: quotes from leading councillors ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  11. 11. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘We encourage the officers, if you have got an idea, we need to hear about it. We always look for the positives. We say, we like this, we like this, but this needs changing.’   ‘External challenge is good: challenge from residents and local businesses. You need to get people from all backgrounds, saying: ‘why do you do it like this?’ or ‘why do you do that at all?’’  ‘Make sure that people are talking to other councils. Make sure that cross fertilisation is going on.’
  12. 12. ‘You need space to think. With all of the challenges coming at you, the danger is that you make bad decisions because you have not taken any time to think creatively about how you are going to get away from this.’   ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘It is not about taking risks, it is about whether you think the thing you are doing is right. If you are absolutely convinced that what you are doing is right, then you have to mitigate the risks.’  
  13. 13. Agree Clear Long-Term Ambitions for Innovation •  Agree clear, long-term strategic objectives •  Deeply understand residents’ concerns & the key future challenges •  Select the priority areas for major innovations •  Ensure proposed major innovations are well considered & attainable ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  14. 14. Agreeing clear long-term ambitions for Innovation: quotes from leading councillors ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  15. 15. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘You need a picture of the future. Where the finances of the country & local government are going.’  ‘We have a 20-year plan, as to what kind of communities we want. It is alive and breathing, and it runs through everything we do.’   ‘You could have a really bright idea, that in practical application could be really successful. But, given diminishing resources, is it actually a priority for you?’  
  16. 16. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘There is no point in attempting to innovate, if you have no idea what your vision is.’   ‘Our innovations need to relate back to our priorities.’   ‘You can’t do everything at once. You have to understand the capability of your organisation for change.’  
  17. 17. Lead for Innovation •  Build a united political & managerial leadership approach to innovation •  Convincingly communicate the need for priority innovations to residents, employees & partners •  Listen to others’ ideas, comments & concerns •  Work cross council & with key partners •  Move forward boldly, with pace & determination ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  18. 18. Leading for innovation: quotes from leading councillors ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  19. 19. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘Councils are in the best place ever to have a conversation with their communities, and say: ‘we have no money. We are going to try to protect public services. We are going to try all of these things, and they are new, we haven’t done them before. You might not like some of it, and you might like some of it, but at least we are trying to do something, rather than putting up the white flag and saying we give up.’’  
  20. 20. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘You have to take people with you. And if you can’t take people in your own group, or your own council, then you are not going to take the public with you.’   ‘Be brave and confident about what you are doing. If you are timid about some of these changes they won’t happen.’     ‘You need to be radical and to get on and do new things. That is what is needed at the moment.’  
  21. 21. Ensure Priority Innovations Are Delivered •  Devote sufficient time, resources & expertise to priority innovations •  Provide space & licence to test new approaches •  Involve key stakeholders e.g. residents, employees, partners, businesses •  Monitor progress closely •  Persist, persist, persist ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  22. 22. Ensuring priority innovations are delivered: quotes from leading councillors ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  23. 23. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘There is no point in having ideas if you can’t deliver them, because you get egg on your face. We do what we know we can deliver. We have big ideas, but ones that are actually achievable.’   ‘You need to road test it first, to learn what works and what doesn’t.’ ‘The secret is to recognise quite quickly when it is not going well.’  
  24. 24. ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013 ‘Even when it gets rocky, you have to have the resolve, because you firmly believe what you are doing is right.’ ‘Innovating is something that doesn’t happen quickly. Our innovation has taken 20 years. There is something to be said for that little valued virtue of constancy.’   ‘You need a clearly defined goal, but be prepared to change the way you get there.’  
  25. 25. Your position Leading councillors: ›  What actions are you currently taking to encourage innovation? ›  What more might you do that would help to achieve more significant innovations in your council? ›  What are your priorities for action? (What actions are likely to have the biggest impact?) ›  How will ensure they happen? ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project 2013
  26. 26. Resources ›  Council Leaders’ Key Actions for Innovation Report http://tinyurl.com/LGIP2013 ›  Local Councils’ Innovation Framework: http://tinyurl.com/LGIF2014 ›  Framework Self-Assessment tool: http://tinyurl.com/LGISA2014 ›  Summary of latest findings: http://tinyurl.com/LGILF2014 ›  Presentations on innovation: http://www.slideshare.net/joanmunro ©Accelerating Innovation in Local Government Research Project

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